Galway East Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney has said that motor tax paid by residents in Galway is being used to prop up Irish Water at a time when many roads in the county remain impassable due to snow and ice. Deputy Keaveney says it is unacceptable that motor tax money is being used to fund the super quango instead of going towards treating the road network to keep it open during wintry weather.

Deputy Keaveney commented, “Just last week it was revealed that Galway residents paid over €64m in motor tax in 2014. A significant amount of this has been handed over to Irish Water to help cover the costs of its lavish set-up. Despite this we have a situation today where many roads across County Galway are impassable because they were not treated overnight to prevent the build-up of snow and ice.

“Schools across the county have faced significant disruption as children and teachers have been unable to travel on the road network. There has also been major disruption for businesses as workers have been forced to stay at home and deliveries have had to be cancelled. This has had a detrimental impact on the economy across Galway. It is simply astounding to think that Galway County Council is being forced by the government to hand over motor tax money to Irish Water while at the same time being unable to treat the road network to make it safe to travel on.

“It is unacceptable that Galway residents are seeing a significant portion of their motor tax money being handed over to fund Irish Water, while at the same time their road network has effectively been shut down. The current spell of bad weather had been forecast well in advance by Met Éireann.

“The time has come for the government to ensure that motor tax money is spent on keeping our road network open rather than funding the Irish Water super quango. At the very least residents should be able to expect to travel on our roads in a safe manner rather than having to put their lives on the line each time they need to leave the house” said Deputy Keaveney.